FAQs

What is All Star Code?
All Star Code is a new, NYC-based non-profit organization dedicated to attracting, preparing, and placing young men of color in careers within the tech sector. All Star Code is passionate about closing the systemic opportunity gap between minority males and the tech industry. Its flagship program is a six-week intensive summer experience for high school male students in New York City.

Why the focus on young male students of color?
African-Americans comprise less than 1% of startup founding teams, a critical sector for job growth and wealth creation. There are very few tech career pipeline programs that focus on under-represented male youths of any ethnic background, but there are already some excellent and fast-growing female-oriented programs in the space such as our friends at Black Girls Code and Girls Who Code. Further, there is evidence that single-gender instruction works well for intensive programs in the high school age group.

Are non-black students allowed?
Yes. All Star Code is for all young boys of color – Latino, Pacific Islander, and Native American students as well as other under-represented minorities. All Star Code makes its admissions decisions regardless of race or ethnicity.

Why the tech sector?
The current “Silicon Valley” ecosystem relies on in-person networks that currently do not include racial minorities. The diminishing value of the college degree in the technology field (as exemplified by the Thiel Fellowship) exacerbates this trend, as universities have been a crucial way for African-Americans to build successful networks. Without some outreach on the part of the tech community, explicit and implicit structural barriers prevent minorities from accessing the system know-how to pursue successful careers in technology, especially startups.

Why coding?
We believe learning how to code teaches you how to think. It is also a gateway skill that gives anyone greater access to a suite of career opportunities in the 21st century economy.

Why soft skills?
We believe that appropriate professional skills and mindset are a crucial factor in the ultimate success of any individual. These skills are particularly important for minority youth, who are less likely to be connected to successful mentors. These mentors have the power to model and instruct emerging talent in optimal practices as they mature. That is why our program will be project-based, encouraging of teamwork, and will have a robust cultural exposure component as well. If and when our All Star Coders do end up joining the informal, freewheeling technology community, they will not feel out of place.

What is the All Star Code Summer Intensive Program?
All Star Code (ASC), our flagship program, is a six-week summer program for high school rising male sophomores, juniors, and seniors here in New York City. The 2015 Summer Intensive will consist of 2 cohorts of 40 students total. The curriculum includes a rigorous computer science course, but also a soft-skills curriculum (leadership, innovation, team-work, etc.) that would help our students stand out years later when they enter the talent pipeline of top companies. ASC’s purpose is to give young African-American men an early introduction to the world of technology, providing a mode of entry to an industry that has been closed to them. (To twist the old Walt Disney line: “If you can’t see it, you can’t dream it.”)

How do I apply for the All Star Code Summer Intensive program?
All interested students should submit an online application by 11:59pm on March 6, 2016. The application will take approximately one hour to complete. Please click here to begin!

What is the inspiration for this program?
The 1965 summer program at Harvard Law School that spring- boarded Reginald F. Lewis’ pioneering career on Wall Street. Lewis is the father of our founder, Christina Lewis Halpern.

When will ASC be held?
Dates are currently scheduled for July 11th through August 19th, 2016, which will allow both public and independent school students to attend. The program will run five days a week from 9am to 5pm.

Where will ASC be held?
Official location is still being decided. We hope to be in the Silicon Alley hub of the Flatiron/Meatpacking District or the Financial District.

 

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